An Inside Look at the Honours Bachelor of Interpretation Program
George Brown College’s Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) is the first degree of its kind in Canada. Developed to address the growing demand for qualified Sign Language Interpreters, this degree helps prepare graduates for work in this dynamic field.
An interpreter is a fluent bilingual-bicultural professional, facilitating communication between those who do not share the same language or culture.
To be a sign language interpreter requires manual dexterity, critical thinking skills, visual-spatial recognition and cognitive processing abilities in order to process information instantaneously at a level of bilingual and bicultural expertise beyond conversational fluency. For non-Deaf interpreters this will also include auditory-processing capabilities.
Over the course of four years, students will continue to improve and hone both their English and American Sign Language proficiencies while studying to become interpreters. This program focuses on seven areas of learning:
- Language and Culture
- Field Fundamentals
- Interpreting Skills
- Research Methods/Trends
- Ethics and Professionalism
- Breadth Electives
- Field and Community Experience
What does it take to be an American Sign Language - English Interpreter?
Is this program right for you?
Interpreting is a very rewarding but demanding field of work. Successful interpreters typically possess the following attributes:
- A strong command of both English and American Sign Language
- An excellent memory
- The ability to concentrate and focus easily and for long periods of time
- The ability to process and analyze information quickly (cognitive processing skills)
- Multi-tasking ability
- A willingness to be flexible
- Strong communication skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills
In preparation for the field or clinical placement, students will be required to work in multiple small and large groups, both in classes and community settings. Attendance and participation are key elements of program success.
Please download the C302 Applicant Questionnaire here.
Your Field Study Options
420 Hour Internship Experience (unpaid)
Students wishing to become successful in the field of interpreting should expect to dedicate a significant amount of time to developing their craft outside the classroom.
To help students transition their skills from a controlled classroom environment to the real-world, we’ve developed a 420 hour internship program (equivalent to 14 weeks) that aims to do just that. This senior internship offered between semesters six and seven runs for 420 hours from early June through to late August. During this time, students will work under the close supervision of a professional interpreter and will have the opportunity to provide consecutive and simultaneous interpretation service where appropriate.
Students will be exposed to a variety of situations where interpretation services may be required. This could include a range of clients in a variety of settings including:
- social service agencies
- school boards
- community agencies
- post-secondary institutions
As most interpreters in Ontario are self-employed independent contractors, these positions are meant to provide a richer learning experience and the chance to strengthen skills, but are typically not paid positions.
Program Standards and Learning Outcomes
Each George Brown College degree program is designed to deliver degree-level, discipline-specific program learning outcomes. Program learning outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge and skills that students are expected to demonstrate by the end of their program of study.
Degree learning outcomes must include exposure to a breadth of learning beyond the core disciplinary or vocational field of a program, to increase students’ awareness of the society and culture in which they live and work. This breadth requirement is addressed through additional mandatory Liberal Studies courses in the program curriculum.
To see the relevant program learning outcomes for your specific program of study, please visit georgebrown.ca/programs/learning-standards-and-outcomes.